Handrail Bracket High quality stair handrail bracket

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Metal casting is arguably the earliest and most influential industrial process in history. It used to make many of the metal objects used in our daily lives: automotive parts, train wheels, lamp posts, school bus pedals, and much more.

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Advantages and disadvantages of investment casting

Investment casting is a highly popular casting method, and for good reason. It has many advantages over other methods and provides highly detailed parts loyal to their molds; however, there are some notable disadvantages that must be discussed.

Below are the main advantages of the investment casting process

Allows for the casting of highly complex, extremely accurate parts with good surface finish right out of the mold

Can cast very thin (~0.015 in) sections with incredibly low tolerances (~0.003 in)

Allows for the use of almost any metal capable of casting (aluminum, bronze, iron, etc.)

The investment casting process can be automated, generating a huge amount of parts quickly

The wax can be recovered and reused for many patterns

These upsides come at a significant price, so let examine the disadvantages of investment casting:

Parts are best behaved in smaller sizes weighing up to around 75 lbs, with large parts being generally better suited to other casting processes

The process is complex and typically involves expensive equipment and/or technicians to operate

The high cost of dies to make the wax patterns limits the processes to high volume production projects

Parts with cores or holes smaller than 1.6 mm or holes deeper than 1.5 times the diameter of the part are difficult to investment cast

So, while highly accurate and readily reproducible, investment casting has a high cost and complex workings. Also, there are some part geometries that cannot be made with this type of casting, so check the properties of your part to see if it is compatible.


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